While James Yap was about to play a crucial game last Sunday night at the Big Dome for the right to slug it out with the San Miguel Beermen to get that automatic semifinals seat, his wife Kris Aquino was on her final appearance on ‚ÄúThe Buzz,‚Äù telling the world that the marriage was over.
Before his game, he even participated in the PBA‚Äôs outreach program where they treated some 30 orphans to a book reading session with Commissioner Sonny Barrios. Journalists from other networks were present, which was unusual, but he remained oblivious to his wife‚Äôs announcement.
Come game time, as if the negative vibes crept up on him, he missed his first few free throws and couldn‚Äôt buy a basket, which is uncharacteristic of a player who was just talking about how he has put in extra work to cover the offense they‚Äôre missing with Kerby Raymundo still sidelined with an injury. Yap shares he‚Äôs been putting up at least 250 shots before practice and another 250 after. His shooting though was almost a no-show in the first half.
But it‚Äôs hard to keep a former Most Valuable Player down. He eventually made his shots and managed to come up with 18 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds to help his team fend off the pesky Barakos. He only found out about ‚ÄúThe Buzz‚Äù through text messages after the game.
With an average of 18.1 ppg, 35-percent 3-point shooting clip, 3.1 rebounds and 2 assists, he‚Äôs in the Top 5 amongs all local players and is the only non-Talk and Text player on the list. There‚Äôs Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, Ranidel de Ocampo and Mac Cardona. Since they won the All-Filipino crown, it boosts his MVP campaign. They would need to make it to the finals to further strengthen his chances.
With all the hullabaloo he‚Äôs surrounded with, James says he never lets it affect his game. He‚Äôs a professional basketball player and when he‚Äôs on the court, all the controversies are muted out. He‚Äôs played through injuries and has managed to deliver.
Asked if he‚Äôll attend the presidential inauguration on June 30, without batting an eyelash, he said he would go to support his brother-in-law President-Elect Noynoy Aquino. Maybe showing support and respect to the Aquino family is so important to him that he‚Äôs willing to brave the frenzy.